Thanksgiving is around the corner, and some Anteaters can’t head home for the holiday. Pizza and football for all then?  No way. Chancellor Michael Drake and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Thomas Parham will host a classic turkey feast at Pippin Commons.

“We started this last year out of concern for those students who might not have a place to go for Thanksgiving,” Drake says. “It was a wonderful experience, and we especially enjoyed introducing the holiday to international students who had never had stuffing or cranberry sauce! We’re happy to do it again.”

The second annual event ties into the new Student Affairs-led “Take an Anteater Home” initiative, which urges members of the campus community to reach out to fellow students, faculty and staff who might not have a place to go during the break.

“Anteaters hail from all corners of the nation and the world and not everyone can spend the holidays with their family or close friends,” Parham says. “We look forward to coming together with these students to celebrate.”

Last year, he and Drake dished up a T-Day dinner for 125 ’Eaters at the Palo Verde housing complex.

UCI Hospitality & Dining Services staff will provide roast turkey or ham, sweet or mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits and pie. Vegan and vegetarian options will also be available.

“It’s our duty to make students feel at home if they can’t travel home for the holidays,” says executive chef Paul Baca. “Our international students also enjoy taking part in the traditional American meal.”

The banquet will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day in Middle Earth’s Pippin Commons. UCI dining officials expect as many as 200 people.